Our Mushing Formations
Our mushing formations are very flexible. Most of our huskies are able to run in different positions and with different partners. Based on the number of dogs per sled the formation can change. Our guides know our huskies by heart and carefully select what combinations work the best.
Meet Our Husky Team
Rose, Olaf, Astun, Räpylä, Hiekka, Laava, Fujur, Belle, Bruno, and Hillary form the heart of our husky kennel. They live in Parpalandia and are an essential part of each husky team pulling our sledges.
Besides meeting them, in Parpalandia you can also meet huskies of one of our mushers, who lives nearby.
Räpylä is the pretty lady of the group with her amazing deep blue eyes and nice thick long fur. Despite being a pretty lady, she doesn’t act like a princess at all. She is probably the most playful of the group, jumping on and playing with anyone that comes into her kennel. She loves nothing more than being cuddled and receiving treats. Just like Belle, she is a good climber and would like to escape her kennel whenever she gets the chance to follow you anywhere you decide to go. Räpylä can take the position of the leader in our mushing formations. She might not know all of the commands but she focuses on running with her undivided attention and without being distracted from anything happening around her. When she is not a leader, she generally is in a pair with Hillary as a team dog in the middle. They are an unstoppable power duo!
Rose is 8 years old and therefore the oldest dog at Parpalandia. She is a Finnish champion and she deserves respect for that which the other dogs seem to know as well. Despite being small, she has a strong personality. When it comes to husky mushing, she is an amazing leader that listens very well to commands. That is why she usually is in the front of the team. From time to time she keeps Olaf, her mushing partner, in check by telling him where to go by slightly bumping her head against him while running. She might be tough, but she is far from rough. Rose knows exactly when it is time to run and pull but also when it is time to walk next to you while going for a walk in the forest and when it is time to be gentle to receive lots of cuddles from everyone. We would say she is the brain of the pack.
Astun is one of our youngest and a 2 in 1 dog. He is super quiet and sweet in his kennel, looking for cuddles as well as belly rubs all the time and radiating a wise persona. But as soon as we put the harness on him the second dog inside of him comes to light. He gets very active, jumping and barking non-stop while waiting for his chance to run. Astun is Fujur’s brother and they usually run together right after the lead dogs. As a swing dog in the mushing formation Astun helps to set the pace while running and helps to turn the sled around corners. When we stop the sled halfway of the trail to give the dogs water and to let them rest for a few short moments, Astun is so full of energy that he doesn’t even want to rest but keep going instead. After a good run he is one of the first ones to lie down in his harness to catch his breath and to enjoy the cool ground, reversing back to his quiet persona and waiting for the next time to give it his all.
Olaf is our oldest male husky. How to describe Olaf? It can be hard to understand him because sometimes we have the feeling that he doesn’t even quite understand himself: he is jumping on you to receive cuddles but shakes at the same time, having his tail between his legs while asking for and receiving attention, running in a strange way seemingly not knowing how to be a dog etc. When it is time for training, he gets very excited and can’t wait to start running, jumping around and forgetting that he has to wait for the other dogs to be attached to the sled as well. While husky mushing, he usually leads the team with his mushing partner Rose who makes sure that he follows the right trail. He might be a little bit awkward at times but Olaf is a one in a million dog and his quirks make him incredibly lovable all the same.
Hillary is the shiest dog in Parpalandia. She is not particularly fond of being pet and she likes her personal space. But this mostly accounts for humans. When it comes to the dogs, she is much different. She does not let them push her around for sure! As soon as Hillary starts working, we can always count on her 100 %, especially when all the others start to look tired she is the one that runs like she only just started to do so. Usually, she is a team dog, supporting the whole group in the middle of the formation. No Alaskan husky is afraid of the cold, but Hillary is especially hardened against the sometimes unforgiving weather of the north. She always sleeps outside and in the morning we see her already enjoying the cold ground while all the other dogs lie in their dog houses.
Bruno is a super energetic dog who can’t stop running around his kennel all day long. When he is working, he pulls all the time non-stop. It is extremely rare to see him tired! Since he spends a lot of energy during the day, he requires almost double the food of the others in the evening but he doesn’t gain any weight in the process. When it comes to his personality, he is not all that social with the other dogs or other people and likes to keep to himself. When it comes to running, he usually runs by himself or next to our gentle Belle as a team dog which means that he supports the team from the middle. Bruno might need a bit of time to get comfortable with others but as soon as he gets to know you better, he is like a big teddy bear that just wants to be cuddled all the time.
There is no Hiekka without Laava, just as there is no Laava without Hiekka. They are brothers and they love to do everything together. Even though they have two houses in their kennel they prefer to sleep together in one of them. Hiekka and Laava sit close to each other at all times or even on each other legs, butts, backs, all just to be as close as possible together. Like all brothers they fight sometimes but they make up just as fast. They generally run in a pair as wheel dogs in the back of the formation. Both are physically strong and that makes them perfect in the back since they can pull a lot and like to do so as well. If we take just one of them running and leave the other one behind, they look a bit confused about what is going on and they will miss their brother for the short time they are apart. However, this does not stop them from giving it their all and pulling like their life depends on it when it comes to running itself.
Fujur is our little energy bundle. She is also the youngest of the group: she runs, jumps, barks and plays all day with us or her dog toys. She is always excited and it shows in her greetings that are full of energy. When we prepare the sled, she can’t wait to jump into action, just like her brother Astun. The same goes for running itself. Usually she is a swing dog in our mushing formations right after the two lead dogs. She likes to run next to her brother Astun setting the pace while running and helping to turn the sled around corners. Fujur and Astun work well together but they also have a lot of verbal arguments that end in a lot of barks directed at each other. The only way to see her in a calmed down state is after making her run a lot, giving her a good bowl of food (she loves eating!) and then finding her finally sleeping with a content smile on her face.